Southwest Washington County Results Vary Widely as Gluesenkamp Perez and Kent Move on From District 3 Primary


The county-level results for the District 3 House primary show the different paths Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Joe Kent took to make the general election.

Secretary of State Steve Hobbs certified the results for the House primaries and Washington’s other multi-jurisdiction races on Friday afternoon. County auditors offices had certified the local election results on Tuesday.

In the final results, Kent ended up beating Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler by 1,096 votes to secure the second spot in the general election. Herrera Beutler conceded the race on Aug. 9 after Kent passed her vote tote totals after trailing by thousands of votes in the initial results.

Local results add nuance to the narrative that Kent’s path to overtaking Herrera Beutler was fueled by votes cast on Election Day, especially in Clark County and Cowlitz County. The same-day votes made up a significant amount of the updated counts that happened after Election Day but Kent still ended up in third place for both of the counties.

The other piece of Kent’s success was his strong performance in the safest conservative parts of the district, aided by the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. He received 1,500 more votes than Herrera Beutler did in Lewis County and 1,250 more votes in the southern portion of Thurston County, which was added to the district during redistricting.

Skamania County was the only one where the final order of the candidates matched the results for the overall district. Thurston County voters supported Perez and Kent as their top two, but Kent led in the county’s results.

The top three candidates performed almost identically in Cowlitz County. Herrera Beutler, Kent and Gluesenkamp Perez finished within 100 votes of each other out of the 31,500 total votes cast in the primary.

Gluesenkamp Perez received a boost in support from the Washington Democratic Party after topping the primary results with 31% of the overall votes, but she remains an underdog to win the seat in November. The three top-performing Republican candidates on the ballot- Kent, Herrera Beutler and Heidi St. John- combined for 61% of the primary votes.

Wahkiakum County had the highest turnout rate in the state for the primary, with 57.5% of registered voters coming out in August. Two other counties in the district, Pacific and Skamania, had more than half of their registered voters turn out.

In the state legislative races, Rep. Joel McEntire expanded his lead in the final results for the District 19 state legislative primary.

McEntire ended the primary with 60.4% of the overall votes. Cara Cusack, a Democrat candidate from Chehalis, will face McEntire in the general election after earning 30.5% of the primary votes.